Girls! Dying to draw a line up the back of your legs in eyeliner? Fancy putting your hair in curlers? Book a ticket for the next Blitz party and you’ll have a simply spiffing excuse. A fancy dress night for people who haven’t grown out of the concept, the Blitz parties fill the cavernous Village Underground space with retro sounds and a few strategic sandbags, and hope the punters will do the rest.
There was certainly no shortage of effort at Saturday’s event. Hundreds crowded in beneath the brick arches: the ladies in vintage tea dresses, Land Girl getups or army uniforms; the gents sporting dashing uniforms or a winning braces/shirt/flatcap combo. The dancing stayed authentic too, with the couples who could find room attempting a charming mélange of swing, jive and the Charleston. Splendid!
Not so good was the entertainment, two mediocre singers and their backing band, whose facial expressions were less ‘Blitz spirit’ and more ‘firing squad’. And if you fancied a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc to give you the pluck to ask that minx to join you by the bunkers, you were out of luck: the oh-so-authentic Ration Book design of the beverage list did not make the complete omission of wine from the alcohol selection any easier to bear. The cheapest drink was thus bottled beer (Spitfire or Asahi £3.50), while the cocktail selection started at £6.50. And while we’re griping, the queue for the cloakroom and the virtually violent scrum around the mirror in the ladies’ bathroom were both decidedly unglamorous.
The venue’s not perfect and the entertainment could have been better, but the facilities were undoubtedly an improvement on those enjoyed during the actual Blitz, so it would be churlish to complain too much. As a night to look at beautiful people and enjoy a superficial dance, the party was bang on. The flash of self-indulgent cameras was constant as the punters reveled in the success of their own outfits, and, certainly, people had put a touching amount of work into looking like they’d been born ninety years ago. There’s arguably something a bit dark about pretending it’s the middle of World War II and that the German Luftwaffe may bomb the crowd to smithereens at any moment, but one can’t take these things too seriously without looking like a tosser. Chocks away!
By Jane Macarthur